Monday, January 16, 2012

Another Big Roll (April 2011)

Well, of course, things cannot always go as planned, or even as hoped. As I have said, Suki is very clever about scratching with an amazing ability to reach areas on her body that most people would think impossible. So I received the call on April 10 that over night Suki had apparently rolled and there was some damage to the graft area. When the team first saw the blood, they thought that the damage was far worse than it actually was. Once it was cleaned the wound did not look as bad as initially thought. I'm not saying that there was no damage. There was, and it was a setback. But this is an animal that we are talking about, and we can only exert so much control over their activities! Clearly we still needed a better protective garment than the bandage and the sleazy. That was always going to be the rate-limiting step.

One of the fly sheets was still being modified. It had been fitted once or twice but additional tweaks were necessary for it to be effective. The sheet was being fitted with four "pontoon" type of structures which would lift the garment off the bandage on Suki's back. Hopefully when she rolled the ground would not come in direct contact with the wound or bandage. For now a heavily padded bandage with the sleazy on top would have to do. Only hand walking, lunging and supervised turnout would be allowed. Of course, she was still able to get into trouble in her stall, but a big roll outside would be far worse! Suki continued with her usual antics and demanded that evryone who came into the barn give her some attention (treats along with the attention were best!). So we went along for a few more weeks, with much improvement!
As the graft area began to heal I was amazed at the transformation that was taking place. New skin was growing and beginning to blur the edges of the plugs. There was still quite a bit of daily maintenance, of course. Each day (or every other day if the bandage was completely intact!) The wound needed to be cleaned and re-dressed. There was hand walking, babysitting during turnout and lunging. Team Suki was VERY busy. Other students helped when they were able to, but the four people, in addition to Dr. Fugaro bore most of the responsibility. I will say it again: an amazing, dedicated group of people. The procedure and the aftercare would not have been possible without their kindness. Suki, for the most part was very cooperaive with cleaning and bandage changing. Dr. Fugaro said that she was even getting better about needles....hmmmm I'm not so sure about that. More likely they were getting better about sneaking up on her! Any indication that there may be a needle involved and Suki goes on high alert. When it is time for vaccinations and blood for Coggins, it is crucial to draw the blood will never get close enough after that! Suki also needs to be the first horse done, if other horses in the barn are being examined. If she sees someone evil and suspicious (AKA, the vet)you will never catch her in her stall! This is not because of the fire and the resulting treatments....this is just Suki! In the middle of April the college sent a press release to a variety of news outlets: Suki was becoming quite famous! After the press release, syudents who hadn't known that she was at the equestrian center were now aware of the situation and she began to receive even MORE visitors. The diva was going to be impossible to live with!

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